Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DEREK JARMAN
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 31st the Religion of Antinous celebrates the life of Saint Derek Jarman.

St. Derek, born on this day in 1942, created eleven extraordinary feature films ... including "Sebastiane," "Jubilee," "The Tempest," "Caravaggio," "The Last Of England," and "Edward II" ... and over three dozen shorts.

This multi-talented artist is also acclaimed for his painting (several major exhibits), stage and film design (for director Ken Russell and for a glorious Pet Shop Boys concert tour), gay and human rights activism, literature (memoirs, social criticism, poetry), and, on a serene note, his exquisite gardens full of "found" art.

Most gay men have seen Sebastiane which, when it came out more than 30 years ago, was the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, not to mention the first film entirely in Latin.

Edward II raised eyebrows among critics for its upfront depiction of the brutal assassination of England's openly gay monarch by means of rectal assault.


The exquisitely beautiful Caravaggio is Saint Derek's best-known film.

We Antinoians remember Saint Derek for his art and we honor him as well for his boundless courage. His death from AIDS was cruelly slow and agonizing. And yet, as AIDS robbed him of his mobility and even of his eyesight, he turned the tables on Death and Dying by turning Death and Dying into an art form. 


His last feature-length film, Blue, consists of a single shot of saturated blue color filling the screen as Derek talks about his "vision" of life and art. How very typical of Derek Jarman. 

Thumbing his nose at fate right up to the end. A dying man who is blind and yet who talks about his vision.

The light of his eyes faded until all he saw was the darkness where the Night Terrors feed on fear and doubt. And what did Derek do? He turned the darkness into vibrant color. He turned his fear and his worries into artistic energy. The dramatic lighting and brilliant colors of his films were so very dramatic and brilliant because they were always, always set against the inky darkness.

That is why we consecrate Derek Jarman a Saint of Antinous. Just like Saint Caravaggio, also one of our Blessed Saints, Martyrs and Exemplars, his "vision" lay in turning the Darkness into Light and Color. He died February 19, 1994.

Monday, January 30, 2017

EXCERPTS FROM WORLD'S FIRST OPERA
ON 'ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN' THE OPERA



WE are proud to present exclusive excerpts from the world's first queer opera about Antinous ... performed this past week in New York City.

CLICK HERE
 for exclusive excerpts from the opera.


Duets from ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN were performed as part of the SOUND DEPARTURES 2017 arts weekend at The Club 74A East 4th Street in New York.

This ground-breaking opera, which premiered in 2013, was written by composer CLINT BORZONI with a libretto by EDWARD FICKLIN.

Borzoni's award-winning music reflects his passion for lyricism and functional harmony. He has written over sixty pieces, including a full length opera, two one act operas, a piano concerto, percussion quartet, piece for orchestra, two string quartets, several works for chamber orchestra, and many art songs. 

Ficklin has composed and written librettos for various forms of music-theater. He has realized his works in a number of unusual venues, like a store window near Grand Central Station and a vacant bank lobby near the World Trade Center (with the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the September 11th Fund). His work has also been presented by numerous opera companies across the United States and Europe.

He describes "Antinous and Hadrian" as truly "grand opera," a hugely ambitious project.

"Rome wasn't built in a day," says Ficklin. "When embarking on something large, we're often given that sage, if cliche, advice. Having recently laid down on paper, finally, the first few lines a new libretto destined to be a grand opera, I find that I need to remind myself of this. Indeed, large endeavors always require a large perspective.




Sunday, January 29, 2017

ANTONIUS SUBIA ON THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS



MAY the Light of the New Star of Antinous shine into all our hearts and illuminate our souls!

We are still trying to figure out exactly what took place in the sky and when, and why it was so important that it confirmed the deification of Antinous, whether it was a comet or a new star, a Nova in what is now the constellation of Aquila.  I lean towards the Nova possibility, because of of the use of term "new star" by Dio Cassius, with no reference to a comet, or "long-haired" star...and also becaus some of th most dramatic known Nova's have been located in the constellation Aquila, such as the Nova Aql of 1918

"Two major novae have been observed in Aquila: the first one was in 389 BC and was recorded as being as bright as Venus; the other (Nova Aquilae 1918) briefly shone brighter than Altair, the brightest star in Aquila."

So it is possible that there was a Nova in the year 131...and by the way, our previous estimate of year 132 is most likely wrong...the year 131 would have been only a few months after Antinous died...and if this is so, then the appearance of the new star would have occurred about six months before the miraculous inundation of the Nile the following summer.  I've always wondered about the timing issue, whether or not the constellation Aquila was actually visible in the sky at the time of year...but it seems that it is, for about one hour before sunrise.  This is called a Heliacal rising, when the first appears above the horizon just before sunrise, and then on each succeeding night seems to rise higher and higher every night thereafter.  This is what they mean by the Rise of the Dog Star, which signaled the beginning of the Egyptian calendar and which signaled the annual flooding of the Nile.  The star Sirius and Altair (which is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, the star traditionally located right above Antinous's head) are on almost exactly opposite of the night sky...yet strangely enough, they are the two brightest stars in relatively close proximity to our Sun, part of the local group.

As an argument for the comet:  It was the chinese who recorded what is said to have been a comet on January 29th 131.  It is known that from the point of vie of China the tail of a comet might be visible, but in Europe, the the tail might be hidden...not sure if I understand why, but this is what I've read, so it may be that from Hadrian's point of view, for the brief hour or so before sunrise, all they saw was a single point of new light in the sky.  I'm still not sure what I think about this...and also...I keep thinking that I recall reading in Beloved and God a brief mention by Royston Lambert that there had been a comet in the sky in the year 130 which had given rise to foreboding prophesies...but I keep trying to find this reference and come up with nothing...if any of you can take another look at Beloved and God and find this reference, I would be much ingratiated.  And then there is the reference that in the year before Antinous died, that a Phoenix had been seen in Egypt, perhaps another allusion to a comet.  If a comet did in fact occur in the months before Antinous died then it would indeed perhaps confirm the Chinese reports, though the dates would disagree but the ancients were terrible about recording dates so there is ever possibility that some confusion might have taken place.  A comet before his death and a new star (nova) afterward would however be a significant narrative of spiritual significance.

The Star of Antinous was the proof that Antinous had indeed arisen to the heavenly sphere...that he had taken his place among the immortal gods...more than anything else..it was what all the disbelievers would have required to recognize that Antinous was more than just Hadrian's little pretty boy.  It would have needed to be a very significant new star in order to make an impact upon the general populace...it would have needed to be an obvious sign in the sky that even an untrained astrologer could look up and seen for themselves..it would have needed to be as bright as Altair...there were a great many people all over the empire who were familiar with the stars...sailors and temple soothsayers...all of whom would have had enough familiarity with the constellations to know if a new star had actually appeared in the night sky for the first time.  If there really had appeared a new star for the first time, as Dio Cassius skeptically reports, then the "experts" would have noticed it, and would have confirmed the official reports from Hadrian's court that Antinous had arisen to godliness...and the word of their confirmation would have spread, dispelling whatever doubts the general, uninformed populace might have felt when the Edict of Deification was announced.

The Star of Antinous was the mos significant event in the formation of our religion...this is what separates Antinous from other gay demi-gods such as Achilles and Hephestion...they were deified in the same way and for similar reasons as Antinous, but their cults never assumed world-wide importance or longevity...they never crossed the line from heroism to godliness...for one basic reason...because there was no cosmic confirmation to solidify their deification.  I just read a Spanish book about Antinous by De La Maza written in 1969 which emphatically states that the New Star of Antinous was the most important event that elevated Antinous to the immortal state that we recognize him to hold to this day.

The Star of Antinous represents the spirit of Antinous within our heart...the Fire of Homotheosis...this is what I feel when I consider the star of Antinous shinning inside of me.

May my light shine upon you all,
May your light shine upon me.

~Antonyus Nicius Subia
Flamen Antinoalis

THE DISCOVERY
OF THE STAR OF ANTINOUS



ON January 29th in the year 131 AD a new star appeared in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle.

The court astrologers declared that it was Antinous taking his place in the heavens. Hadrian ordered them to draw a new constellation embraced by the Eagle, and called it ANTINOUS.

Our Flamen Antinoalis Antonius explains:


"The Roman historian Dio Cassius was skeptical that a new star had appeared in the sky, but simultaneously, the leader of the Jewish revolt named Bar Kochba, which means 'Son of the Star,' was declared the Messiah because a celestial event had proclaimed him the savior of Israel. The mystery of the star is real, a celestial even of great magnitude occurred shortly after the death of Antinous within the constellation of the Eagle for the New God.

"The three sacred stars of the constellation Aquila, named Tarzad, Altair and Alshain, rise above the horizon just after dark on this night and are an allegory of the assumption of Ganymede into heaven. This date is suggested by Chinese Novae observations which have been dated as occurring on the 29th of January 131 AD, and are compared to the Star or Comet of Antinous."

Saturday, January 28, 2017

ANTINOUS THE MOVIE STAR
UPSTAGES EVERYBODY IN 'CLEOPATRA'




ANTINOUS defies time and space ... appearing in Cecil B. DeMille's 1934 film CLEOPATRA, which starred Claudette Colbert.

The Antinous Capitoline statue gazes into the atrium pool beside Calpurnia (played by Gertrude Michael) in Julius Caesar's Villa in Rome.

In another scene, Caesar (played by William Warren) has Antinous on his mind ... or at least on his head ... or perhaps springing forth as Athena sprang forth from the brow of Zeus. 

Handsome Henry Wilcoxon is Mark Antony (left) and C. Aubrey Smith is bearded Enobarbus. 

The Antinous Capitoline statue upstages all the actor in this wonderful peplum ... despite the fact that Caesar lived in the 1st Century BC and Antinous lived in the 2nd Century AD.

Friday, January 27, 2017

THE MEN WITH THE PINK TRIANGLES
VICTIMS OF THE GAY HOLOCAUST



IN Nazi Germany, on January 28th, 1935, the Ministry of Justice revived and amended "Paragraph 175", the old Prussian statute created in 1871 that made Homosexuality a crime punishable by imprisonment. 

The law was increased in severity and became the legal basis for the systematic persecution of male Homosexuals. 

The Nazis believed that homosexuality endangered to the purity of the German people, that gay men corrupted the youth, preventing them from living normal married lives, and were therefore a threat to the race. 

Homosexuality was denounced as an unnatural lust, and accused of being intrinsically Un-German, a disease imported by Jews and supported by Communists, the enemy of the Aryan People. 

Imprisonment and sterilization were the initial penalties, but Heinrich Himmler revealed his true design when he said that the "extermination of degenerates" was in keeping with ancient Nordic principles (an interesting idea considering that many of the Dying-Boy-Gods, to whom we compare Antinous, were killed as ritual human sacrifices.) 

Men were arrested and sent to the concentration camps by the tens of thousands. 

They were distinguished by the sign of the pink triangle, and subjected to extreme conditions of abuse. 

The Men of the Pink Triangle were beaten regularly, subjected to hard labor, deprived of food and exposed to the elements. 

They were abused by the Nazi guards and by other prisoners alike because everyone considered homosexuality the lowest of low, a sin and an aberration, even the homosexuals themselves. 

An estimated 60,000 men were legally sentenced under "Paragraph 175," nearly all of them died, and this number only includes those documented in Germany. The number of unrecorded homosexuals, and those outside of German is impossible to know, but may be twice as many. 

The Men of the Pink Triangle were so successfully persecuted that even after the Nazi defeat, Paragraph 175 remained law, and many gay inmates were sent to regular prison to complete their sentences. It was not until 1969 that the law was finally repealed. 

We sorrowfully remember the legions of Men of the Pink Triangle who died cruel and vicious deaths under the Nazis. 

We remember the evil that was perpetrated with the blessing of "Paragraph 175." 

These men are our Martyrs, our Holocaust, our Guardian Saints, they suffered so that we would be Free.

We will never forget their painful and miserable deaths, and we pray to Antinous the God of Homosexuality, to watch over their immortal souls and give them rest. On this day we remember the horrors that were raised against us through the Amendment of "Paragraph 175."

Thursday, January 26, 2017

NOW THIS IS THE PROPER WAY
TO MAKE NUDES PALATABLE TO PRUDES


IN America and Europe right-wing conservatives are seeking to roll back gains made by LGBTI people and even want to tighten censorship.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, we suggest that museums might consider dressing Classical statues as hipsters.

French photographer Léo Caillard and art director Alexis Persani have created a tongue-in-cheek photo series that depicts ancient Louvre’s sculptures wearing modern day clothing. 

With the power of a camera and photoshop, these guys show how hilarious two worlds of old and new look combined. 

They call the series STREET STONE and the incident in Rome shows how timely it is.

We wonder what the sculptors would think if they saw their creations donning hipster chic clothing and accessories. We'd say either rolling in their graves or laughing hysterically. 

It's actually quite amazing how the addition of the clothing instantly gives these guys and girls a personality very separate from the one they had before. 

They gain a bit of edge mixed with some androgynous sex appeal. 

This idea could spawn an entire new clothing line. Stone Stylings: Extremely uncomfortable clothing for those who don't move.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WORSHIPERS ON BOTH SIDES OF ATLANTIC
CELEBRATE HADRIAN'S BIRTHDAY



WORSHIPERS on both sides of the Atlantic ... from Hollywood to Athens ... joined hands via Skype in ceremonies celebrating Emperor Hadrian's birthday at the Hollywood Temple of Antinous ... rites which continued into early Wednesday.

Flamen Antonius Subia had issued a global invitation via social networks for participation in Tuesday evening's ceremonies commemorating the 1,941st anniversary of the birth of Hadrian.

The year 2017 is additionally special because it is the 1,900th anniversary of Hadrian's becoming Emperor of Rome. Many special commemorations are planned!

"We honor Hadrian because without him there would be no Religion of Antinous," Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA told the worshipers who had gathered in Hollywood, along with live participation from priests and adherents in Europe, including a worshiper in Athens Greece. 

"Hadrian loved Antinous with all his heart and with all his soul. And yet, when Antinous died he could have kept Antinous in his heart to treasure alone for all eternity," Antonius said.

"But instead, he shared Antinous with the world," he added, raising his hands toward images of Hadrian and Antinous on the temple's sacred altar.

"He issued an imperial command that temples to Antinous be erected throughout the Empire," the Hollywood high priest explained, "and that statues, busts and sacred images of Antinous be created to perpetuate his memory."

Even in the darkest times after the Fall of Rome, Antinous continued to serve as a beacon for homosexuals through the centuries.

"Antinous was revered by gay people throughout the centuries, even in the Killing Times when gays were burned and persecuted, even during the Gay Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis ... and also as gay people continue to suffer today," he said.


"Instead of keeping Antinous locked in his heart, Hadrian shared a portion of Antinous with us," Antonius added, speaking in English and in Spanish for participants in Mexico City. 

"He permitted us to share in his loving relationship with Antinous, and in doing so, he forever changed the way gay people have seen themselves," he told the congregants.

Officiating at the Hollywood Temple as others took part via Skype, Antonius lighted incense and offered libations in celebration of the birth and life of Hadrian and his unprecedented step to deify his gay lover ... the ultimate Classical deity.

"He was the most powerful man in the world, who loved Antinous so much that he declared him a god," Antonius told worshipers.

"He did that as representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the Cosmos, the great eagle," Antonius added. 

"Hadrian is the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion," he went on. "He is the divine lover of Antinous ... our model ... and our God."

Future interactive ceremonies will be announced in advance.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

THE BIRTH OF HADRIAN


ON January 24th the Religion of Antinous celebrates the Birth of the Divine Hadrian.

Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born on this day either in Italica, Spain, or else in Rome, in the year 76.

His father was Publius Aelius Afer, his mother was Domitia Paulina. His uncle was the Emperor Trajan who had been adopted by Nerva.

Trajan employed Hadrian as a general in his conquests across the Danube, where Hadrian proved his military prowess, and gained the love and devotion of the Legions.

It is said that the relationship between Hadrian and his uncle was strained, and they are even known to have quarreled over beautiful boys. But Hadrian was very close to the Emperess Plotina, whose intellectual depth he preferred to the military harshness of Trajan.

During the unsuccessful campaign against the Parthians, in modern day Iraq, Trajan suddenly fell ill and died. Plotina is said to have insured that Hadrian be his successor, allegedly even forging the documents of adoption.

The New Emperor Hadrian inherited the largest Empire that the world had ever known, the borders of Rome had reached their greatest extent.

Hadrian is the Father of the Antonines, the bringer of the Golden age of Rome. He put an end military expansion of the Empire and turned instead to improving the interior.

He is the prime deity of the imperial cult as recognized by the Religion of Anti
nous. He is the representative of Zeus on Earth, emblem of the ruler of the cosmos, the great eagle. Hadrian is the leader of the Archons, the bringer of order out of chaos, founder of our religion.

He is the divine lover of Antinous, our model and God.

Monday, January 23, 2017

THE ASSUMPTION OF GANYMEDE


OUR Father Jupiter descended upon the slopes of Mt. Ida in the form of an eagle and carried away Ganymede, the beautiful young prince of Troy, ravaging him, and elevating him to live among the immortals.

At the table of the Olympian gods, Jupiter installed his Ganymede as the divine cupbearer who pours out nectar-wine from the cup of eternal life.

This love affair between the Phrygian prince and the Father of the Gods is a divine parallel of the love between Antinous and Hadrian.

Ganymede is the emblem of the coming Age of Aquarius, when peace and love will rule the hearts of all men.

On this day, the beginning of the sign of Aquarius, we observe the deification of Antinous as having made union with the Thunderbird-Phoenix-Eagle, and having been elevated to reign among the immortals in the manner of Ganymede. And we pray for the hastening of the coming age.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

HEATH LEDGER
SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON January 22nd the religion of Antinous commemorates the brief, shining life of Saint Heath Ledger, the gifted actor whose on-screen portrayals inspired millions of gay people and whose off-screen life paralleled so many more. Not gay himself, Saint Heath nonetheless is a gay icon, like Saint Judy Garland and others.

Saint Heath died on this day in 2008 under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 28.


His body was found lying across the bed of his Manhattan apartment. The manner of his death bore eery parallels to the death of English  singer/songwriter Nick Drake, who is also a Saint of Antinous.

Best known for his Oscar-nominated role as a gay cowpoke in "Brokeback Mountain", the acclaimed Australian-born actor also played The Joker in the blockbuster "The Dark Knight", for which role he posthumously was awarded a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor. On the first anniversary of his death, he posthumously won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role as the psychopathic criminal mastermind The Joker.

No one will ever know why Saint Heath overdosed on anti-depressants, as had his idol Nick Drake. No one will ever know why Saint River Phoenix took a fatal cocktail of booze and alcohol, just as no one will ever know why Saint Richey Edwardsjumped off a bridge to his death (if he did), and no one will know why so many talented and overly sensitive young men meet death so tragically and so young.

Just as no one knows for sure what happened to Antinous. Thus they are all Saints of Antinous.

Shortly before his death, Heath Ledger made a video tribute to Nick Drake (photo right), the ambisexual English singer/songwriter who died in 1974 under almost identical circumstances to Saint Heath.

Saying he planned to make a movie about Saint Nick, Heath appeared in a self-made video (about drowning) to the tune of Nick Drake's song Black-Eyed Dog. It was the last song that Nick is believed to have recorded before he died under mysterious circumstances after taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills at the age of 26. His body was found lying across his bed.

The black-eyed dog is thought to be a reference to Winston Churchill's famous "little black dog." Throughout his life Churchill was shadowed by violent mood swings, fits of depression and periods of emotional doubt. He felt that he was followed by this unpredictable darkness and uncertainty. He called it his "little black dog."

Heath seems to have been very well acquainted with the "little black dog" of depression, the black demon which nips at the heels of so many sensitive young souls who cannot find their way in this harsh world.

And thus Antinous is the God of Lost Boys. He knows their suffering. He knows how it is to stand on the shore at the twilight of the world, with one foot on dry land and the other foot in the murky depths of oblivion — and he understands how a beautiful soul can slip off into that oblivion.

Antinous is the God of these very sweet, shy, sensitive and talented artists, young men who agonize over their shortcomings and who can only cope with the harsh realities of showbiz by taking tablets with unpronounceable names in private.


 Saint Heath represents so many young men who seek what Nick Drake called the fruit of the tree of fame. "Fame is but a fruit tree, so very unsound", Nick sings in a song which Heath loved. It is a song about sensitive souls who reach for the fruit of fame and then, when it is within their grasp, they discover that its taste is very bitter.

Friday, January 20, 2017

DAESH DESTROYING PALMYRA THEATER
SEEN BY ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN



Antinous visited the fabled city of Palmyra with Hadrian and saw this lovely amphitheatre ... which is now being destroyed by DAESH Islamic State barbarians.

The Syrian director of antiquities, Maamoun Abdulkarim, confirmed Friday that the extremist group was blasting the amphitheater and had also destroyed the tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped ancient Roman monument. 

He provided satellite images, given to him by the Boston-based ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiative and taken by satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe, that displayed the destruction.


This horrific news came amid reports that DAESH goons were also summarily executing civilians in the embattled city. Since sweeping to power across Iraq and Syria, Isil has been systematically erasing signs of their pluralistic histories. Palmyra has been a particularly egregious target of their hatred.

Palmyra was called the "Garden City of the Sands" and scientists say it was TERRA-FARMED to create a lush green oasis of life and civilization in the midst of the desert.

Islamic State fighters have already destroyed two ancient temples at the site, described by Unesco as one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.


In 2015, DAESH destroyed the PALMYRA TRIUMPHAL ARCH through which Hadrian and Antinous strode.


Just weeks ago DAESH blew up the BAALSHAMIN Temple in Palmyra. The photo at right shows how impressive even its ruins were prior to its being blown to bits by DAESH.

The photo at left shows all that is left of the Triumphal Arch now. 

The ruins are a testament to the barbaric nature of DAESH renegades.

We know Antinous & Hadrian saw it because Hadrian decreed a vast expansion of the temple.

During the DAESH occupation of Palmyra, KHALED ASSAD, an 81-year-old antiquities scholar who devoted his life to understanding Palmyra, was beheaded by DAESH militants, his bloodied body hung on a pole. He had even named his daughter after Zenobia, the queen that ruled from the city 1,700 years ago.

DAESH claims ancient relics promote idolatry and say they are destroying them as part of their purge of paganism. However, they are also believed to sell off looted antiquities, bringing in significant sums of cash.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has been told that DAESH militants have killed 30 suspected gay men for "sodomy" in recent months.

DAESH released a video showing CHILDREN STONING two gay men to death after they had been thrown off a building in Homs Syria. It is one of a grisly series of such gay execution videos. 

A year ago, DAESH released a video showing two other men accused of being gay THROWN OFF A BUILDING and then stoned by a crowd in Palmyra.

Only a few weeks earlier, more than 25 men were EXECUTED BY CHILDREN at the famous theater in Palmyra.


THE GOING FORTH OF ANUBIS


ON January 20th is the Ancient Egyptian Feast of "The Going Forth of Anubis" (Yinepu) when his statues are carried through the streets for worshipers to honor ... in hopes that Anubis will convey them through the darkness of death to eternal light and life. 

This feast occurs between the completion of the mummification of Antinous on January 11th and the birthday of Hadrian on January 24th.

Anubis leads the new god Antinous to the Home of the Gods amongst the Imperishable Stars.

SAINT SEBASTIAN


ON January 20th the Religion of Antinous honors SAINT SEBASTIAN who, despite being a Christian martyr, has been identified by homosexuals of all beliefs over the centuries as a symbol of our persecution and suffering.

Sebastian was an officer in the Imperial Guard of Emperor Diocletian, and he was a Christian.

In 302 A.D. Diocletian subjected the Christians to a brutal persecution, and it was during this period that Sebastian was "outed" to the Emperor as a practicing Christian.

When asked to sacrifice before a pagan altar, Sebastian refused and  was sentenced to death. He was tied to a column before Mauritanian archers, who shot him with arrows...but to no effect. 

Sebastian was strengthened by his faith, and did not die. He was finally clubbed to death in front of Emperor.


Homosexuals over the centuries have looked to Sebastian as a patron saint. 

His manner of death, which is like an affliction of Eros, and the sight of the beautiful young soldier plumed with arrows, has moved our hearts over the ages more than all other Christian saints.

In the Middle Ages, he was said to have power over the plague. And during the Black Death, his popularity grew among the penitent flagellants.

His image was a favorite subject of homosexual artists during the Renaissance who were fascinated by the erotic charge of his death. 

During the early 19th Century he was taken up as the model for homosexual suffering and persecution, some writers even claiming that he was the young lover of Diocletian and that his martyrdom had a jealous, sexual subtext.

In our time, the power of St. Sebastian over the Plague has made him a spiritual force in the fight against AIDS. And so we recognize his sanctity as the patron saint of homosexuals and as a protector from our modern plague. 

We consecrate him to the Religion of Antinous and offer our own quivering-hearts as a target for his thousand arrows of love.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

SEEK THE LOST TOMB OF ANTINOUS
WITH BEN PASTOR'S 'THE WATER THIEF'


IT's summer vacation time ... for our many thousands of Antinous devotees in the Southern Hemisphere ... and anyone who is interested in historical fiction in general and Antinous in particular should read this book by Ben Pastor, the award-winning Italian-American historian and author. 

She knows more about Hadrian and Antinous than almost any other living expert. 

Her historical novel THE WATER THIEF is an example of fine scholarly research, as are indeed all of her books.

This novel traces the efforts of Aelius Spartianus to discover the fabled LOST TOMB OF ANTINOUS

Aelius Spartianus is a true-life figure who did in fact write a biography of Hadrian nearly 200 years after the death of Antinous.

Set in the year 304 AD, it tells of this very literate Roman army officer who is commissioned by Emperor Diocletian to do research on his predecessor the Divine Hadrian, who had died nearly two centuries earlier. 

It is while delving into the mystery of the death of Antinous and while trying to learn the whereabouts of the Boy's tomb that the officer stumbles onto evidence of a letter penned by Hadrian uncovering a covert conspiracy to bring down the Empire ... a conspiracy that is still very much at work in 4th Century Rome. 

As Spartianus comes ever closer to finding the answer to the death of Antinous, the conspirators' efforts to thwart him become ever more violent, resulting in numerous brutal murders and attempts on the officer's life.

Pastor's descriptions of Rome in the year 304 AD are superb. You get a real feel for the teeming city in mid-summer, with all the odors and noise, colors and steamy heat that that implies. 

Best of all, for those of us who love and worship Antinous, are the chapters in which Spartianus ensconces himself in Hadrian's derelict villa outside Rome. 

It is there, as he stares up into the stars at night, that he makes a startling connection between the layout of the villa and the eight visible constellations in the nighttime sky in late October when Antinous died ... indicating that Hadrian's obsession with horoscopes and astrology led him to create an earthly universe where time stood still at the death of Antinous.

Did Hadrian's belief in astrological fate compel him to have Antinous killed? Or did Antinous take his own life in a bid to fulfill his astrological fate? 

Or was it more mundane? Did he and Hadrian have a lovers' tiff that ended tragically? Was he done in by young male rivals intent on gaining Hadrian's affections for themselves? 

Or was something even more sinister at work? And why is someone desperate to preventing the officer from finding out what happened to Antinous all those years ago?

For those of us who love Antinous, this book is a joy to read. Pastor works in many small and obscure details which are well known to his modern-day followers. 

To give just one example, the Roman officer expends a great deal of effort trying to locate and decipher the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS which today stands in a park in Rome and is the focus of much current research in the 21st Century.

The obelisk's key inscription, which is the focus of modern experts seeking his tomb, says that Antinous "rests within the garden bounds of the great lord of Rome". 

Just as today's researchers have puzzled over the meaning of that phrase, Ben Pastor's protagonist must also make sense of it ... and he arrives at a startling answer that almost costs him his life and jeopardizes future of the Empire.

The novel's characters are well drawn and the reader identifies with Spartianus as he attempts to unravel this Gordian Knot while at the same time pulling together the strands of his own personal life.

There are numerous gay characters and they emerge as well-rounded and believable characters, especially the flamboyant Egyptian gays who find themselves unwittingly the target of unscrupulous killers in their very midst.

The tales of Antinous and Hadrian which unfold as the investigation progresses are a true pleasure to read, if only because they are all so contradictory and often far-fetched ... precisely as they are to today's researchers. 

Spartianus must work his way through this thicket of tall tales and outright lies and defamations in order to determine precisely what sort of persons Hadrian and Antinous were ... in order to save the Empire two centuries after their deaths.

One of the more outlandish tall tales is told to Aelius by a Roman transgender hustler named Cleopatra Minor who claims to have frequented a notorious whorehouse which specializes in boys for aristocratic customers whose villas line the Bay of Naples. 

Cleo claims it is "well-known there" that Antinous was a boy prostitute who had just arrived from Bythinia and "had barely become accustomed to his little bed" when Hadrian stopped by the whorehouse and took a fancy to him.

There are lots of other, equally intriguing characters in this book. But the most intriguing character of all, of course, is the one character who cannot take active part in the plot but whose presence is felt at every turn of the plot:

Antinous himself.

Though the 4th Century murders take center stage in the story, this book actually is more concerned with telling the story of Antinous and Hadrian and their abiding love affair which spans the gulf of the centuries.

As you read the novel, you get a growing awareness of Antinous as the living, breathing, three-dimensional human being that he must have been in life. 

The more Spartianus looks into the life of Antinous, the more he becomes obsessed with the Blessed Boy. He simply has to find that tomb, even if it means his death and the downfall of Rome.

We won't give away the thrilling ending, except to say that, when Spartianus finally "exchanges glances" with Antinous (in a manner of speaking), Spartianus is overcome with emotion ... and the reader finds it hard to hold back the tears.

CLICK HERE to order, but don't wait too long ... or the Water Thief will catch up with you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

THE CURTAIN GOING UP IN NEW YORK
ON 'ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN' THE OPERA



IT has often been said that the love story of Hadrian and his beloved Antinous has all the drama, romance, mystery and intrigue of opera — and now you can hear selections from the world's first queer opera about Antinous this weekend in New York City.

Duets from
ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN are being performed as part of the SOUND DEPARTURES 2017 arts weekend at 10 p.m. Friday 20 January 2017 at The Club 74A East 4th Street in New York.

This ground-breaking opera, which premiered in 2013, was written by composer CLINT BORZONI with a libretto by EDWARD FICKLIN.

Borzoni's award-winning music reflects his passion for lyricism and functional harmony. He has written over sixty pieces, including a full length opera, two one act operas, a piano concerto, percussion quartet, piece for orchestra, two string quartets, several works for chamber orchestra, and many art songs. 

Ficklin has composed and written librettos for various forms of music-theater. He has realized his works in a number of unusual venues, like a store window near Grand Central Station and a vacant bank lobby near the World Trade Center (with the support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the September 11th Fund). His work has also been presented by numerous opera companies across the United States and Europe.

He describes "Antinous and Hadrian" as truly "grand opera," a hugely ambitious project.

"Rome wasn't built in a day," says Ficklin. "When embarking on something large, we're often given that sage, if cliche, advice. Having recently laid down on paper, finally, the first few lines a new libretto destined to be a grand opera, I find that I need to remind myself of this. Indeed, large endeavors always require a large perspective.


Click here for an exclusive excerpt from the opera:


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

THE ETRUSCANS WERE NOT INVADERS
CONTRARY TO ROMAN PREJUDICE



THE Etruscans were native to the Italian peninsula, contrary to Ancient Roman prejudices that the Etruscans were barbarians from Asia Minor.

Using DNA fingerprinting, archaeo-geneticists have determined that the Etruscans are more closely related to other Italian peoples than they are to those in modern-day Turkey, former Asia Minor.

In fact, they are genetically identical with the Romans themselves, which would be a slap in the face to any Patrician in Ancient Rome.

The Roman view was that the Etruscans were interlopers who arrived on the shores of the Italian peninsula and had to be crushed by noble Romans.

The Etruscan culture is documented in Etruria, Central Italy, from the 8th to the 1st Century BC. For more than 2,000 years there has been disagreement on the Etruscans’ biological origins, whether local or in Anatolia.

Genetic affinities with both Tuscan and Anatolian populations have been reported, but all attempts have failed to fit the Etruscans' and modern populations in the same genealogy ... until now.

Now a team of scientists led by Guido Barbujani, a geneticist at the University of Ferrara, and David Caramelli, anthropologist with University of Florence, have solved the 2,000-year-old mystery of the origin of the Etruscans.

They extracted and typed the hypervariable region of mitochondrial DNA of 14 individuals buried in two Etruscan cemeteries, analyzing them along with other Etruscan and Medieval samples, and 4,910 contemporary individuals from the Mediterranean basin.

Comparing ancient (30 Etruscans, 27 Medieval individuals) and modern DNA sequences (370 Tuscans), with the results of millions of computer simulations, the scientists showed that the Etruscans can be considered ancestral, with a high degree of confidence, to the current inhabitants of Casentino and Volterra.

But they are not the ancestors of the contemporary population of Asia Minor.

They determined that the genetic links between Tuscany and Anatolia went off in different directions at least 5,000 years ago, strongly suggesting that the Etruscan culture developed locally on the Italian peninsula, and not as an immediate consequence of immigration from the Eastern Mediterranean shores.

Monday, January 16, 2017

ANTINOUS WORSHIPERS IN BRAZIL
MOURN GAY TEEN MURDERED BY MOTHER



THE murder of a 17-year-old gay youth at the hands of his homophobic mother has galvanized worshipers of Antinous in Brazil.

Priest DECUS RIBEIRO says: "Itaberlly Lozano was stabbed to death by his own mother and then his body was burned in a field … solely because his mother said he "brought boys home" with him."

Decus notes that more than 1,000 homophobic murders have been reported in the past three years in Brazil … and the number is rising as Evangelical fundamentalists make hate-speeches against homosexuality.

"It is with solemn grief but also with righteous pride that we, the São Paulo Temple of Brazil, have nominated Itaberlly Lozano as a martyr saint for 2017," Priest Decus said in a statement to his fellow priests in North America, Britain and Europe.

The horrific murder occurred on December 29, but only surfaced this week. The body of the adolescent was found on January 7, charred, in a sugar cane field near Cravinhos, in the interior of São Paulo, and on January 11, the mother and stepfather were arrested by the Civil Police, suspected of the crime.

In a statement to the police, Itaberlly's mother, Tatiana Ferreira Lozano Pereira, 32, confessed to the murder and declared that she "could not take it anymore".

He was killed with three stab wounds in the neck and his stepfather helped to get rid of the body by burning it in a field. 

Tatiana's lawyer claimed that the boy was a drug user and had a police record, however, so far there has been no confirmation of that conduct.

According to Itaberlly's uncle, Dario Rosa, he was a hard-working boy, who had frequent quarrels at home because Tatiana did not accept that he was homosexual. 

The uncle on the father's side also says that on December 27, the young man decided to move in with him and his paternal grandmother, but after receiving a call from his mother he decided to go home on December 29 … and disappeared.

As if the whole case and its nuances were not shocking enough, Priest Decus reports there have been appalling comments on the news reports by people who defend Tatiana's attitude and justify the crime based on the sexual orientation and "depravity" of Itaberlly.

"The discourse of these people who blame the victim and regard homosexuality as behavior that needs to be punished is symptomatic of how much homophobia and hatred are trivialized by society in Brazil," says Decus.

In a statement from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA condemns the martyrdom of Itaberlly and says: "May Antinous hold him in his arms as the barque of a million years gently rocks him sleep. Antinous and Hadrian are his loving parents now. Blessed be to him."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ANTINOUS IN THEBES



IN Mid-January the Religion of Antinous remembers the arrival of Hadrian and Antinous in the Greek city of Thebes, which is the sacred city of Dionysus ... they were present for the Bacchanalia.

Flamen Antinoalis ANTONIUS SUBIA explains:

"This occasion is sacred as a commemoration of the death of Pentheus, and it is here that Antinous is initiated into the Mysteries of Dionysus.

"Thebes was the first city to which Dionysus brought his blessings in Greece. Only the wise and the foolish were able to comprehend and believe in his power, those who were level-headed rejected him and were driven mad and utterly destroyed.

"So it is with the religion of Anti-Nous, who is contrary to the Mind.

"The initiation into the mysteries of Dionysus, that Antinous received, was in preparation for his departure from the ordered sphere of our cosmos, into the chaos of the dark abyss. We must cast ourselves into the void where Antinous dwells by the side of Dionysus, the stranger-god."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

WE HONOR YUKIO MISHIMA
'THE LOST SAMURAI'


ON January 14 we mark the anniversary of the birth of one of modern Japan's most famous, controversial, and mysterious gay personalities ... and a saint of Antinous.

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) is regarded as one of 20th-century Japan's most prolific writers, and was the first postwar Japanese writer to achieve international fame. 

Nominated on three occasions for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and author of no less than forty novels, essays, poems, and traditional Japanese kabuki and noh dramas, Mishima’s contribution to Japanese literature was indeed profound.

His samurai-inspired ritual "seppuku"suicide by "hara-kiri" (literally stomach cutting, or disembowelment) and beheading on November 25, 1970, at the young age of 45 marked the end of a life that represented for some, a protest against a post-war Japan that seemed to have lost its traditional identity and values under the tide of mass consumerism, and cultural and political Westernization.

The sharp contrasts between the country he grew up in and the Japan he died in were defining influences in his life, shaping his writings, which often questioned the new Japan and harked for a return to days of old. 

Born Kimitaka Hiraoka in Tokyo on Jan 14, 1925, he assumed the nom de plume "Yukio Mishima," cryptically interpreted as "He who chronicles reason," so that his disapproving anti-literary father would not know he was a writer. 

It was however his paternal grandmother, Natsuko Hiraoka, who was to have the most lasting impact on his life. A mere 29 days after his birth until his 12th year, Mishima was separated from his family and raised by his sophisticated yet capricious grandmother whose own background and personality shaped his character.

The young protégé was forced to live a very sheltered life in which sports, playing with other boys, and even going out in the sun were off limits. She was the illegitimate daughter of a Meiji era daimyo with familial links to the all powerful Tokugawas and was reared in a princely household, a samurai-influenced upbringing which she did not let others forget and which instilled in her, and by consequence her grandson, a reverence for Japan's past, and the samurai fascination with beauty, purity and death. 

Her noble past and yet not so noble marriage to a successful bureaucrat arguably contributed to her frustrations, characterized by violent outbursts and morbid fixations. 

Her character had a lasting yet undeclared effect on Mishima’s later works and personality, particularly the insatiable desire for perfection in the mind and body, and the terrible beauty of death at the moment of perfection exemplified by the honored cherry blossom.

Mishima's complexities were not only confined to his writings. A fluent speaker of English, Mishima wore Western clothes and lived in a Western style house while espousing a return to his country’s past values and practices. 

Much mystery also surrounds the exact nature of his sexuality, and his frequenting of gay bars such as the now defunct Brunswick bar in Ginza despite a rushed marriage at 33 which produced two children. 

Mishima's interest in homosexuality is clearly illustrated in one of his seminal books, "Confessions of a Mask" (1948) where he tells of a man who conceals his true self and sexuality behind a mask of lies and pretense. This book is regarded by many as a semi-autobiographical account of the author's own life.

According to his biographers, he had also considered a marriage proposal to Michiko Shoda, the current empress and wife of Emperor Akihito.  Biographers such as close friend John Nathan contend that the tragic writer married not for love but for respectability.

At the earlier age of 30, conscious of the inevitability of aging, and desiring bodily "perfection," he embarked on a strict bodybuilding regime that lasted for the rest of his life. 

His longing for a return to a spiritual Japan which respected the bushido (way of the warrior) code inspired his expertise in karate and kendo, martial arts that he contended allowed one to experience the border between life and death. 

His extreme nationalist credentials were most notably illustrated in his founding of the Tatenokai (Shield Society) in 1968, a small private army of mostly university students dedicated to the bushido code and the protection of the emperor and the martial discipline of pre-Meiji era Japan. 

This dedication was not to Hirohito per se, whom he had criticized for "dishonoring" the war dead by surrendering, and for renouncing his divinity after World War II, but rather to the symbolism of the emperor system for traditional Japan.

On November 25, 1970, carrying with him a longing for a return to lost samurai values, and an obsession with a purifying and beautiful death, Mishima and four of his Tatenokai followers, entered the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) headquarters in Ichigaya and attempted a coup d’etat which they hoped would awaken the Japanese from their spiritual and political slumber. 

Stepping out onto a nearby balcony, Mishima was ridiculed and jeered as he attempted in vain to rouse the present JSDF members below him to his cause. Realizing the hopelessness of his efforts, the "Lost Samurai" went back inside for his final act of drama.

Positioning himself in traditional Japanese manner on the floor of the office which they had seized, Mishima proceeded to ritually disembowel himself with a “tanto” (a small sword), exclaiming “Long live the emperor” just before a pre-ordained “kaishakunin” (the one chosen to decapitate Mishima) and later one other, made an initially botched but ultimately effective attempt at beheading the famed author.

Debate surrounds Mishima’s motivations. Attempting a coup d’etat with only four other people was almost certainly going to be a failure. Comments made to Western journalists about hara-kiri in his writings some years earlier might be more insightful.

At that time, the author claimed that "spiritually, I wanted to revive some samurai spirit. I did not want to revive hara-kiri itself but through the vision of such a very strong vision of hara-kiri, I wanted to inspire and stimulate younger people."